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The 11 Most Inexplicable NBA Draft Lottery Picks Of The 2000s

Did anyone really think Joe Alexander would be a good NBA player? Anyone?

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2000: The 2000 Draft isn't worth doing because there just weren't any good options. You can't be faulted for making a bad lottery pick when they were all bad lottery picks.

2001: DeSagana Diop, 8th Overall, Cleveland Cavaliers

Chuck Burton / AP

OK, so: Diop's a true seven-footer who played at basketball factory Oak Hill. But he had no semblance of an offensive game — not even the kernel of one; it's not that hard to average 14 points a game when you're seven feet tall in high school — and though Diop's put together a career as a pro, he's never been more than a defensive specialist. He's certainly not an offensive specialist — the most points per game he's ever scored in a season was 3.0, in 2007-08. He also did this.

Players who were drafted after Diop:

Joe Johnson

Richard Jefferson

Troy Murphy

Zach Randolph

Brendan Haywood

Gerald Wallace

Samuel Dalembert

Jamaal Tinsley

Tony Parker

Gilbert Arenas

2002: Nikoloz Tskitishvili, 5th Overall, Denver Nuggets

Matt York / AP

Georgian seven-footer Nikoloz Tskitishvili was drafted sixth overall despite averaging only 6.6 points per game in the Italian league the year before the draft — not exactly a sign of future NBA greatness. Sure enough, the guy shot 30% from the field for his career. (Reminder: HE'S SEVEN FEET TALL.) That would be a terrible number for a volume-shooting guard; for a center, it's abysmal.

Players who were drafted after Tskitishvili:


Chris Wilcox

Amar'e Stoudemire

Caron Butler

Jared Jeffries

Tayshaun Prince

John Salmons

Roger Mason, Jr.

Carlos Boozer

Matt Barnes

Luis Scola

2003: Darko Milicic, 2nd Overall, Detroit Pistons

Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters

Everyone knows the story of Darko Milicic, and it seems at first glance that maybe he doesn't belong on this list — lots of people though Milicic would be good, right? Sort of. Even at the time, there were serious questions not only about Milicic's game, but also his motor and state of mind, and the latter two concerns especially proved to be millstones that he could never quite get rid of in the following decade. ("Weaknesses: Millstone Disposal.") Milicic will forever be notable, though, for the sheer quality of players drafted after him, including Melo, Chris Bosh, and D-Wade, who even at the time were all regarded as can't-miss superstars.

Players who were drafted after Milicic:

Carmelo Anthony

Chris Bosh

Dwyane Wade

Chris Kaman

Kirk Hinrich

Mickael Pietrus

Nick Collison

Luke Ridnour

David West

Boris Diaw

Carlos Delfino

Kendrick Perkins

Leandro Barbosa

Josh Howard

Jason Kapono

Steve Blake

Willie Green

Zazu Pachulia

Matt Bonner

Mo Williams

James Jones

Kyle Korver


2004: Luke Jackson, 10th Overall, Cleveland Cavaliers


Despite having a remarkable college career, Jackson's game never seemed like it would translate well to the NBA — he wasn't fast enough to be anything but a spot shooter, and you can't be a spot-shooter as a pro unless you're reallllllly accurate and add some other elite skill, like defense or rebounding, which Jackson didn't. Indeed, in the pros he couldn't create his own shot and would only score 252 points over the course of seven seasons.

Players who were drafted after Jackson:

Andris Biedrins

Sebastian Telfair

Kris Humphries

Al Jefferson

Josh Smith

JR Smith

Dorell Wright

Jameer Nelson

Delonte West

Tony Allen

Kevin Martin

Beno Udrih

Anderson Varejao

Chris Duhon

Trevor Ariza

2005: Sean May, 13th Overall, Charlotte Bobcats

Sean May won a national championship at UNC; this is true. But even then, he was overweight and unathletic, two of the hardest things for an NBA player to overcome, and he just didn't have the quickness to make his size worthwhile for professional teams.

Players who were drafted after May:

Danny Granger

Gerald Green

Hakim Warrick

Nate Robinson

Jarrett Jack

Francisco Garcia

Linas Kleiza

Ian Mahinmi

David Lee

Brandon Bass

CJ Miles

Ersan Ilyasova

Ronny Turiaf

Monta Ellis

Lou Williams

Andray Blatche

Amir Johnson

Marcin Gortat

2006: Adam Morrison, 3rd Overall, Charlotte Bobcats

Oh, Adam Morrison — how I've pulled for you. It's just that, even after his remarkable senior season, no one really understood how a guy who made his bones feasting on mid-major defenders would survive in the pros, and being drafted by the Bobcats, who had one of the worst developmental track records in the league, only made it worse. One of the biggest warning signs regarding Morrison was his three-point shooting: his junior-year 43% rate was an aberration from his sophomore and freshman performances, and when that regressed back to precedent once he entered the NBA, he was without a reliable way to score.

Players who were drafted after Morrison:

Tyrus Thomas

Shelden Williams

Brandon Roy

Randy Foye

Rudy Gay

JJ Redick

Thabo Sefolosha

Ronnie Brewer

Renaldo Balkman

Rajon Rondo

Kyle Lowry

Shannon Brown

Jordan Farmar

Joel Freeland

James White

Steve Novak

Boobie Gibson

Paul Millsap

2007: Yi Jianlian, 6th Overall, Milwaukee Bucks

Sergio Perez / Reuters

A guy with questions about how old he was who admitted that he wasn't good enough to play in the NBA a year before he was taken sixth overall? How could this go wrong!

Players who were drafted after Yi:

Corey Brewer

Brandan Wright

Joakim Noah

Spencer Hawes

Thad Young

Rodney Stuckey

Nick Young

Marco Belinelli

Daequan Cook

Jared Dudley

Wilson Chandler

Rudy Fernandez

Aaron Brooks

Aaron Afflalo

Tiago Splitter

Carl Landry

Glen Davis

Josh McRoberts

Aaron Gray

Ramon Sessions


2008: Joe Alexander, 8th Overall, Milwaukee Bucks

Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

If you can't shoot threes or create your own shot, and you're not 6'11" or taller, it doesn't matter if you're a tremendous athlete: you have no chance in the NBA. Joe Alexander had no chance in the NBA.

Players who were drafted after Alexander:

D.J. Augustin

Brook Lopez

Jerryd Bayless

Jason Thompson

Brandon Rush

Anthony Randolph

Robin Lopez

Marreese Speights

Roy Hibbert

JaVale McGee

JJ Hickson

Ryan Anderson

Courtney Lee

Kosta Koufos

Serge Ibaka

Nicolas Batum

George Hill

Darrell Arthur

Nikola Pekovic

Mario Chalmers

DeAndre Jordan

Omer Asik

Luke Richard Mbah a Moute

Goran Dragic

2009: Johnny Flynn, 6th Overall, Minnesota Timberwolves

Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

If you're six feet tall and you aren't REALLY REALLY GOOD AT BASKETBALL, you have no chance in the NBA. Johnny Flynn... yeah. And Flynn can't even use the excuse that he didn't get a fair shake because Minnesota drafted two other PGs that same year: they traded Ty Lawson — hahahahaha they traded Ty Lawson and kept Johnny Flynn — and Ricky Rubio waited a few years to come over.

Players who were drafted after Flynn:

Stephen Curry (Stephen Curry!!!)

Jordan Hill

DeMar DeRozan

Brandon Jennings

Gerald Henderson

Tyler Hansbrough

Earl Clark

Austin Daye

James Johnson

Jrue Holiday

Ty LAwson

Jeff Teague

Eric Maynor

Darren Collison

Byron Mullens

Rodrigue Beaubois

Taj Gibson

Toney Douglas

DeJuan Blair

Jonas Jerebko

Jodie Meeks

Marcus Thornton

Chase Budinger

Danny Green

AJ Price

Nando De Colo

2010: Wesley Johnson, 4th Overall, Minnesota Timberwolves

Matt York / AP

Oh, look, another Timberwolves pick. Wes Johnson was a senior who'd only had one good year in college and played a well-rounded but unspectacular game. He just wasn't good enough at any one thing to be a successful NBA player.

Players who were drafted after Johnson:

DeMarcus Cousins

Ekpe Udoh

Greg Monroe

Al-Farouq Aminu

Gordon Hayward

Paul George

Ed Davis

Pattrick PAtterson

Larry Sanders

Luke Babbitt

Kevin Seraphin

Eric Bledsoe

Avery Bradley

Quincy Pondexter

Jordan Crawford

Greivis Vasquez

Landry Fields

Lance Stephenson

Devin Ebanks

2011: Jan Vesely, 6th Overall, Washington Wizards

Chuck Myers/MCT

It's hard to declare a player a failure after only two seasons, but in his second year, Vesely has shown virtually no improvement and very little potential as far as basketball skills; he's an athlete and nothing else right now, and there's more than enough of those floating around the league.

Players who were drafted after Vesely:

Bismack Biyombo

Brandon Knight

Kemba Walker

Jimmer Fredette

Klay Thompson

Alec Burks

Markieff Morris

Marcus Morris

Kawhi Leonard

Nikola Vucevic

Iman Shumpert

Kenneth Faried

Reggie Jackson

MarShon Brooks

Norris Cole

Jimmy Butler

Kyle Singler

Chandler Parsons

Lavoy Allen